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Two Days after Buying a Used Car, the Transmission Failed. Can I Return It and Get My Money Back?

Expert Witness:
When purchasing a car, the stipulations that provide for returning it are very specific in most contracts. If the individual obtained the vehicle from a car dealership, the contract agreement may specify what is permitted for returning the vehicle. However, in most of these situations, money is not returned.

The documents that explain the deal may have provisions for major engine failure or other problems that may constitute a full repair. However, if the issue costs more to fix than he value of the car, it may release the customer from the arrangement. It is crucial to read the fine print and all details in the contract.

Major issues that require repairs could lead the customer to research the lemon laws of his or her state. For the car to fall under the lemon law, it must be covered by warranty with a substantial defect. The warranty covers so many days or miles after the vehicle was purchased. Then, several repairs are unable to fix the problem. Only then is the car covered under the lemon law, and it is then possible to recover costs or have a replacement vehicle provided. State laws differ in applying the lemon law, but most of these contain similar stipulations
about the vehicle, repairs and defects.

Major Repairs and Defects

Unless the lemon laws apply, there are different situations that apply for automobiles with major repairs or defects for the newly purchased vehicle. This means that certain stipulations or fine print in the contract may take effect. If there is a program that was bought or part of the agreement, the dealership may repair the issue at the company or through a contracted care repair place. If the concern is over a defect, the manufacturer may replace the problem or fix the defective part at the plant. However, in most instances, the car is in for maintenance and repair work instead of the contract broken with a return.

Some defects and repairs cost more than the true value of the car. There may be a choice in these situations with the customer and the company. Unfortunately, most of these circumstances still do not permit the business to return any money down or that was made with payments. The contract may be broken with no more responsibility and everything is lost, or a replacement may be presented to continue the payments with the consumer. There are other instances where another type of deal could be struck, but many of these circumstances are specified in the contracted agreement signed by the customer.

Returning the Vehicle

When there are not stipulations stating that repairs will be made, it is possible to return it to the company. However, the dealership is usually afforded the opportunity to replace it with another car that does work. There may even be a stipulation in the contract that supplies the customer with the ability to return the car for a full refund if certain issues arise. If the problem is severe such as the entire transmission not working, it is possible to complete this act. However, reparations are generally available so the customer is given another option from the company. This means returning the damaged car to replace it with another car of equal or lesser value.

If there is a specific clause in the contract that does have a certain amount of days that a refund may be given, it is important to read this carefully. Many dealerships may have other stipulations included such as if the issue is only with a defect and not a part of the car that needs repairs. Additionally, the contract may still bind the customer to monthly payments while the vehicle is being repaired or so that another car may be exchanged with the damaged one. There are several different practices car dealerships engage in that could stop a fully return with a refund. This is the primary reason to carefully read all documentation signed when purchasing the car.

Legal Help with Damaged Cars

When it is clear that the car cannot be repaired, it may be possible to seek a refund. However, many car companies attempt to get out of providing these, and it may be important to hire a lawyer to assist with the matter. If the dealership was engaging in illegal activity, it may be possible to seek compensation for the ordeal with a lawyer hired for the problem.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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